By this editorial’s reading, the shock of Sunday night’s horrific mass murder at a Las Vegas outdoor country music concert will, sadly, have waned. Pundits will be filling our heads with untold volumes of virtually useless information, politicians will be attempting to turn the country’s deadliest mass shooting into a Republican or Democrat problem and ordinary citizens will be shrugging their shoulders and thinking that while it’s a sad testament to America in 2017, there’s little they can do to resolve the problem.
Meanwhile on the social media scene, YouTube video of the concert will be viral and Facebook and Twitter posts will offer pontifications from just about everyone under the sun, while pictures of Las Vegas will show up in most everyone’s feed, many with “Pray for Las Vegas” emblazoned across them.
There is and will continue to be sadness and heartfelt sympathies to all the families who lost loved ones in the shooting, and there will be an outpouring of love and support for the hundreds who have been injured.
Then, a week from now, most of us will return to our routines, with our thoughts on our little corner of the worlds. Las Vegas, like so many other violent acts in the last decade, will be relegated to our memories, resurrected only when another more deadly event happens.
We’ve seen it time and again: In 2016 when three people were killed and 14 injured when Cedric Ford opened fire in a Kansas lawnmower factory; in 2016 when six people were killed and two injured during a series of random shootings in Michigan; In 2015 when 14 were killed and more than 20 wounded at a California social services center; in 2015 when 10 people were killed and seven injured on an Oregon community college campus; in 2015 when nine African-American church members were gunned down inside a South Carolina church during Bible study; in 2012, when 26 people, including 20 first-graders and six adult staff members, were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut; in 2012 when 12 people were killed and 70 injured at a Colorado movie theatre …
And the list could go on. All horrific; all drawing criticism; all drawing massive amounts of TV time and headlines; all consuming our attention for a while.
When will the violence end? How will it end? And who will be the one to take the stand that ends the craziness that drives ordinary citizens to pick up a weapon and kill someone?
The answer, we believe, begins when we turn to a higher power than ourselves, when we not only post “Pray for Las Vegas” but we actually do it — praying for Las Vegas, our leaders, the victims, the injured, our enemies, the country, the world and the wisdom to find a way to stop the growing number of violent acts that happen in our country every day.
While we know not everyone who reads these editorials believes in God, we do, and we aren’t afraid to say it nor urge others to join us in praying for our country and for resolutions that might not fit into our socially acceptable ways of doing things but will help ebb the violence.
This isn’t a video game; this is reality, and for the dozens upon dozens of families feeling the immense pain that such tremendous, pointless loss brings, it is a gut-wrenching reality. It should be for us all.
Violence in America isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue. It’s an American issue; it’s a faith issue. There is nothing sane, merciful, heroic, holy, loving, righteous, or worthy of praise about what happened in Las Vegas or anywhere else where one person or 100 have been shot or killed.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God made this promise … “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
It’s time we all woke up and did just that.